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Testimony By Neivelle Tan
21 October, 2008, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Religion | Tags: ,

Just watched a replay of “True Courage” on Channel 5 over lunch. I am so amazed that he could testify so clearly on national television. It was about his life story that took a major turn after countless encounter with secret societies, near-death moments, revengeful people and whatnot.

 

From the half an hour programme I watched, it all started when he watched his brother being taken away by the Japanese during the Japanese occupation. He was a young boy then. From that moment, bitterness grew within him and he was brought up to think that he had to have a fearless appearance in order to tell others that he is not afraid of anything. From what I think, he was afraid to have people to think that he is afraid. That was the fear that he could not overcome then. During his six years of education, he had gone through all sorts of punishment a student can get. This further built the revenge spirit in him. Finally after being expelled, he joined gangs, secret socieites. These could not satisfy his crave for revenge and instead, landed him in Changi prison a couple of times. More trouble brewed within the walls of the prison and he was faced with strokes of caning. Despite those painful punishments, he still held on to his strong front and told his inmates that caning was simply nothing. Just two weeks before his 18th birthday, he was charged with murder but because of the law, he was void off death sentence but only a lifetime imprisonment. Ultimately, he was thrown into the highest order of solitary confinement which made him claustrophobic. Nightmares of the fourwalls and ceiling closing up on him reoccurred in most nights, causing him to forgo his sleep instead. Finally he did something that he did not do for many years, he prayed. He asked God to get him out of the solitary place and on the 14th day of solitary confinement, he was released and was returned to his dormitory. I forgot if it is during the same confinement or not, but during one of the lock-ups, he recalled a hymn he sang in school. But the class never got pass the first line and he was desperate to look it up from the Bible for the rest of the lyrics. Upon giving up, he threw the bible and it landed and opened right to the page. It was Psalm 23.

 

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
       he leads me beside quiet waters,

 3 he restores my soul.
       He guides me in paths of righteousness
       for his name’s sake.

 4 Even though I walk
       through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
       I will fear no evil,
       for you are with me;
       your rod and your staff,
       they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
       in the presence of my enemies.
       You anoint my head with oil;
       my cup overflows.

 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
       all the days of my life,
       and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
       forever.”

 

I have a video of a really young girl reciting it from memory!

 

 

In the end, when he was released and was standing at the exit of the prison, he had to make a decision. Two cars were parked outside the gate to pick him, one was his buddy in the gang, and the other was a reverend from a church. Bidding goodbye to his buddy and old ways, he changed for the better.

 

Presently, Neivelle Tan opens his home to ex-drug addicts and preaches at Changi Prison. He could easily connect to these people due to his past and they were also conviced that he could identify with them.

 

These are some sites that talked about him too.

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